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Old 12-17-10, 03:51 PM   #11
Solar Mike
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Reminds me of the time many years ago when doing maintenance on a 10Kw HF radio transmitter, some other tech had left an AVO8 multimeter switched to its amps range grounding the HT capacitors rather than the standard earthing stick. When power was reapplied and having forgotten about the meter, its internal fuse didnt help, when 2 amps at 7000 volts was directed through it. We spent several hours picking up small pea sized bits of Bakelite and meter internals from inside the transmitter internals. Sounded good though when it exploded.

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Old 12-17-10, 07:19 PM   #12
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Default Painful memories

Lucky no one was holding the meter when it when off!

My teacher was called the Johnson Viking Challenger (HF Ham Transmitter).

You can see the little ma meter (mili-Amp meter) on the right top.



In this picture from the rear with cover off, the meter is on the left.. With Orange Disc Bypass caps on each side.


Anyways, the year was 1968 or 69, when I was about 22 years old.
Just received Novice ham ticket and figured I could adjust the little
trimmer cap underneath the deck, just below the ma meter.

Never thinking that those meter posts were sitting at 850vdc with about 400 ma available..
I carefully tweaked the trimmer left-handed, with a long skinny little green Xcelite screwdriver.
I was it transmit mode, watching the ma meter.
Carelessly, my upper right right arm touched the backside of my large D104 microphone.
(it was at ground potential).
At that exact instant, my left forefinger slipped down and came in contact with the 850 B+.
I think the point of contact was the solder lugs holding the bypass caps..

I saw the light. I don't remember much, but it appears I did a back-flip out
of my chair and slammed into the door about 8 feet behind me.
I slid down the door to the floor before waking.
When I awoke, I was unable to lift either arm.
It's not easy to get up off the floor, without the use of your arms.
So, I sat there.. For maybe an hour..
But a short while later, the numbness began to leave, replaced by pain.
It took a long time for feeling to return to my right arm.
And it when it did, it was excruciating!

So, I learned my lesson. I don't really recall being shocked since then.
The next day, I went out and got some long nylon tuning tools.
Much better than steel screwdrivers..


haha! I can't remember what I had for lunch today, but I sure can recall that
afternoon over 40 years ago..
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Old 12-19-10, 01:14 PM   #13
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Default Modernized Antique reading lamp

Modernized our reading lamp with the LEDs.


That old lamp was running at 40 watts and could burn your fingers,
when you reached back to adjust it, or turn it off.


I ran about 12' of old speaker wire down to the battery area in the Ham shack.
Put a 2A fuse in the line. Used one of those insulated inline 3AG types.


This lamp is used 2 to 3 hours almost every night. It was starting to get really old. (over 30).
When I removed the old socket, I found the diode, that I had installed
many years ago (to get half power) had burned in half, but the molten
halfs were still touching under the insulation. No wonder it seemed so bight.
Not a safe lamp IMHO..

Anyways, this will be our first DIY Solar powered lamp. I think it will be pretty useful too.

At 2.7 watts, it should be perfect for those really long power-failures..

Note:
The installed picture seems to show some pearls floating up out of the little
heat vents on the socket end of the lamp housing.
They aren't phantom pearls, it's an aberration caused by shaking hands.. I think..
Humm, maybe the ghost of ancient technology?

Last edited by Xringer; 12-19-10 at 03:19 PM..
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Old 12-20-10, 01:43 PM   #14
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Default It's overcast and snowing!!!

I wonder how long a car battery would last using about 3watts .?.

Assuming 30Ah, and the LEDs were drawing about 0.25 Amp?

30Ah/ 0.25A = 120 hours of use.
About a month at 4 hours a night. Or 5 days at 24/7.

The new LED lamp got a few hours of use last night. My wife likes it.

Strangely, the little 10w PV seems to be charging the Toyota battery up this cloudy morning.
Even with the small amount of light we had early this morning, the battery
I expected to be around 12.5V, is up to 13V already..
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Old 12-20-10, 02:39 PM   #15
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Haha, sounds like its working great.
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Old 12-21-10, 02:34 PM   #16
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Hey, we got sun!!

The reading lamp battery had been charging slowly this AM in the dim overcast sunlight..
But then after lunch it came out in full force to show us those long winter solstice shadows.

I took a quick look and saw green LEDs on both chargers. They are full-o-electrons..

I love when a plan works out..
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Old 01-18-11, 09:13 AM   #17
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It's been working every night for about a month now and we are very happy with
the performance of the light and the solar rig that runs it.

The only bug seen so far, is the toggle switch. It's a little worn and sometimes causes the LEDs to flicker,
until the switch is jiggled.
I plan to replace the switch with a small (modern) toggle, after my next trip to Radio Shack..
(I still need a meter fuse)!

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